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Danish murder trial: Counsel raises concern, seeks thorough Investigation

The defence counsel to Mr. Peter Nielsen, a Danish Citizen, who was alleged to have murdered his Nigerian wife, Zainab Nielsen, an upcoming musician also known as Alizee and her three-year-old daughter, Petra, has raised concerns over the investigation conducted by Nigerian Police on the case.

The counsel argued that issues surrounding the case were not thoroughly investigated by the Nigerian Police Force before Nielsen was arraigned before the court.

Nielsen counsel, Mr. Supo Shasore, who was Lagos ex-Attorney General and commissioner for Justice, made the demands when the trial continued before Justice Mobolanle Okikiolu-Ighile sitting at the High Court in Igbosere.

According to him, Nielsen has no reason to murder his wife with whom he reportedly had a very good relationship and that he could not have carried out such an action knowing that there was no way he could escape justice if he committed such an offence.

The trial is being followed by the international media, where prosecution was led by the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP), Lagos State Ministry of Justice, Ms Titilayo Shitta-Bey.

The defence counsel challenged the Police especially it’s two personnel who were witnesses about diligent investigation, particularly in a trial showcasing Nigeria’s justice system to the international audience.

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They were Inspector Babashola Afolayan of Ikoyi division and Assistant Superintendent (ASP) Gafar Oderinde.

He insisted on proper investigation by the police to unravel what really transpired between the couple on the fateful day and what actually led to the death of Zainab and her daughter.

In the first part of the trial which lasted three days, the court accepted the request made by defence counsel to gain access to the crime scene.

The court also ordered that blood samples of the late Zainab and those of her mother (Ruth Madaki) and her two step sisters (Gift and Favour Madaki) be taken for the purpose of scientific evidence.

During the trial, Peter Nielsen’s former driver informed the court of how he was informed by security personnel from Bella Vista in Banana Island of the death of the late Zainab and her daughter.

Even though the state contended that the police conducted a thorough investigation, Shasore in cross examination was able to bring to the court’s notice the fact that the seasoned Inspector had not -reviewed the CCTV footage from the apartment building; checked the telephones of occupants of the apartment; inspected all the rooms in the apartment or even spoken with the neighbours around the apartment before he came to a conclusion that the defendant was the only suspect.

Shasore stated that the role of the police is vital and if the police themselves did not conduct their investigation diligently then there could be a miscarriage of justice.

The lead counsel asked the investigator if he agreed that the case depends on investigation and that a good investigation would lead to justice and a bad investigation would lead to injustice in this case, the Inspector answered in the affirmative.

Oderinde, while been crossed examined, narrated that his investigation commenced on 6 February 2019 and the defendant was arraigned based on findings during investigation.

During cross examination, Shasore stressed that there was no evidence of any break-in; the nanny who could have gained access into the apartment through the kitchen door could not do so because the door was locked from behind; and the wound on the Defendant’s finger could not be attributed to a fall as the Defendant alleges.

The Court later adjourned the case till 25 March for continuation of trial.

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